Gear Review: Osprey Duro 6
Reviewed by Dougal Allan, Osprey Brand Ambassador and 2019 Coast to Coast Champion
Other than footwear, a runner’s backpack is probably one of the most scrutinised equipment choices in the trail running world. Rightly so too, given it’s job is to carry clothing, food and hydration, first aid, phones/GPS units and other critical pieces of gear that can determine safety, performance and general enjoyment on the trails. Comfort, weight, accessibility, looks and durability are all desirables which must be considered when choosing a pack.
In recent years I have been using the Osprey Packs Duro 6. The number 6 indicates the capacity (6 litres) of the pack, meaning it is a small, lightweight option for faster-paced missions or when equipment and nutritional requirements are less. Perfect in my experience, for events such as the Coast to Coast multisport race, 4+ hour mountain bike rides/races or ultramarathon events.
The first thing that strikes me with this pack is the comfort. It is a ‘harness’ style pack, meaning the gear can be distributed both in the back compartments as well as across the front of the chest and shoulders which gives it a balanced feel over the torso. The soft mesh fabric used in the harness creates very comfortable contact points against the body and the adjustability of the pack ensures it can be set up to avoid any bouncing and discomfort (it comes in 2x sizes: S/M and M/L).
Accessibility is amazing with stretchy pockets on both shoulders allowing full access to the important stuff such as energy gels and bars, a phone or GPS unit, soft flasks, sunscreen etc. The rear compartments allow for a 1.5L bladder to be carried (comes with the pack!) as well as a bunch of gear (in the Coast to Coast I carried thermal leggings and top, waterproof leggings and top, beanie and gloves, first aid kit and survival blanket). There is also a specific storage system for trekking poles (which I have so far managed to avoid, though my days without them are probably numbered!). If you are required to carry a whistle (always a good idea regardless) it has a lightweight one tucked away in a pocket in the front.
Having used the Duro 6 for a couple of years so far (and having used various running backpacks over the past decade) it is definitely the best lightweight run pack I have used. It shows no signs of aging despite its heavy use in this time and is of course covered by the amazing Osprey Packs All Might Guarantee. Plus let’s be honest, the Osprey Duro 6 looks sleek and trendy, which is as important as any of the aforementioned performance features.